Pellegrini L, Lancaster MA (2021)
Breaking the barrier: In vitro models to study choroid plexus development.Curr Opin Cell Biol 73: 41-49
The choroid plexus is central to normal brain function by secreting cerebrospinal fluid and dynamically regulating its composition throughout development and homoeostasis. Much of our current understanding of this region of the brain comes from studies in animal models. These fundamental studies have shed light on choroid plexus mechanisms of secretion, barrier function and homoeostatic regulation. However, how these specific mechanisms are regulated in the human choroid plexus is much less understood, due to ethical and technical limitations. A number of recent breakthroughs have enabled a new range of techniques and tools for functional characterisation of choroid plexus development and physiology. With the advance of new technologies such as in vivo imaging, single-cell transcriptomics and in vitro three-dimensional cultures we are now able to address a number of outstanding questions in choroid plexus biology. Here, we discuss some of these recent breakthroughs and we focus in particular on how in vitro models can be a powerful tool to study human cerebrospinal fluid secretion and barrier function.